Megan Tuttle, NEA-NH President, provided testimony in opposition of HB 1015 on January 20, 2022. Here is the transcript of her submitted remarks:
Good morning. My name is Megan Tuttle and I represent more than 17,000 professional educators in the state as President of NEA-New Hampshire.
After reading HB 1015, and other bills put forward this session regarding public education, I am left wondering “Who would want to be a teacher right now? Have you seen how professional educators are being treated?”
I’ll not spend time today trying to understand the motivation behind this bill, but I will call your attention to its flawed mechanics.
By imposing a 2-week notification mandate on all materials to be used in any classroom, this bill removes the use current events from every school in our state.
If an article were to appear in the Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, or Concord Monitor that could be used to help teach a lesson, I would have to place that article on hold for two weeks while my school district notified parents of the planned use of that article in my classroom.
If there were no objections, two full weeks after the fact, the material could be introduced in my classroom. In a high school setting that uses a block schedule, that would be 14 days out of 90 that the material would be on hold. If there were an objection, prior to using the article I would have to select alternative content to submit for ‘mutual approval.’ Since the bill provides no mechanics for reaching ‘mutual approval,’ a single current event item could be on hold for the duration of the semester.
The use of current events is a required and vital part of the New Hampshire social studies curriculum standards. HB 1015 makes it impossible to use current events in any meaningful or practical way preventing students from developing analytical skills to support any opinion they could form.
Teachers are trained and experienced in education and have a duty to set their students up to be successful contributors to society. To do that, the ability to teach honest, complete facts about historical and current events without being censored by politicians must be protected. All children deserve a fact-based education that helps prepare them for their future.